Skip to main content

tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  October 5, 2011 9:00am-12:00pm EDT

9:00 am
[inaudible conversations] >> the senate meets at 10 a.m. to continue debate today on a bill to allow sanctions against countries that money to their currency. >> governor barbour spoke yesterday about the 2012 election. republican strategy, the economy and job creation.
9:01 am
john harris, the cofounder and editor-in-chief of political moderated this hour-long discussion. >> good afternoon and welcome to leading authority on what went program conversations with power. just today's program is being a broadcast by c-span. i want to express my appreciation to governor barbour for joining us today, and to john harris, politico, for moderating today's discussion. a lot has happened in the world since we met in july on the economic front, president has announced his jobs bill. the stock market has just turned in its were scored since the financial crisis of 2008 and is now approaching bear territory. the latest weekly gallup poll shows the president's rating, approval rating at 43%. this is behind every american president, john f. kennedy
9:02 am
forward with the exception of jimmy carter who of course went on to a landslide defeat. congress' approval rating is even lower, 11%. less than 20% of americans think the country is on the right track. consumer confidence in august plummeted to its lowest level since 1980 and has remained relatively unchanged in the last month. unemployment at 9.1%, and in the security area in afghanistan the american embassy has been attacked twice in the last month. the former president of afghanistan was assassinated, and president karzai announced that negotiate with the taliban was futile. the war of words has increased between palestine and israel, and the dialogue with pakistan has become even more course in a critical part of the world. as if this were not enough we have the presidential elections. in a new abc news "washington
9:03 am
post" poll, just 37% of americans thought and expect the president obama to win reelection in november 2012. republicans believe their stand to bear, whoever it is come would be the present, and a dwindling majority of democrats, 50%, expect the president to prevail. from winning the iowa straw poll, michele bachman has returned to single digits, and in the past 30 days we have witnessed governor of texas rick perry go from non-candidate to front-runner status and and probably lose half of his support. he and michele bachman seem running race to the low single digits. interestingly, herman cain the former ceo of godfather's pizza and former president of the national restaurant association seems to be gaining traction. and, of course, just won the florida straw poll. meanwhile, an announcement is
9:04 am
expected during this program on governor chris christie and his intentions. in the house and senate it's not possible the republicans could retake the senate and lose the house. and it's against this backdrop that we have governor haley barbour with us today, and john harris but i would like to look into the stage governor barbour. [applause] >> did you pick up my speech? mark is trying to help me pick his taking my speech. [laughter] give me that. thank you, mark. john, thank you for doing this. and thank you for coming. you know, it's funny i look around and see so many people i've know for a long time. it makes me think back to my lessons in politics that i've learned over more than 40 years that i've been doing this. i actually dropped out of college or two years ago this
9:05 am
month for my first government job. i was the state director of the senses. great lesson working for the government. you find that the government is a pretty crummy communicator. i remember this, since this is not just a senses of population and housing. it's also a census of agriculture and business. we were in a state office looking through the business census form from 99.99% of businesses, it's like one page. and these folks from mom-and-pop operation up in mississippi in the northeast corner of the state, you could tell they were hard trying, america loving, good citizens because they have struggled with the questionnaire. they got down to about never, there's only 14 questions, got down to number eight, the question was a number of employers broken down by six, the answer that none broken down by six. we do have to with a dredging problem. [laughter] and i figured out and get what
9:06 am
needs to improved documentation technique. and hopefully i'm going to be successful in doing that myself. why we are here. i am going to talk a little bit about the 22 of election, start off by saying some that i think anybody here already knows. this in many ways will be the most pivotal election for president in our lifetime. that the choices are likely to be the biggest. the policy changes from one side winning on the other side winning, the most important. it's going to be close, or it should be close, contentious, and in my opinion negative. it will be bigger than 1980 in terms of changing the direction of the country. obama at the outset has some advantages, that don't get talked about in mark's summation of what the press said today. first of all it's hard to beat incumbents. in fact, you have to go back to
9:07 am
1896, and going for from 1896, only one time as a logical party won the white house away from the other party, and then turned around and lost it in just four years. jimmy carter. that's the only time. every other one-term president followed the present of his own party, whether it was bush in 88, lyndon johnson, harry truman, herbert hoover, william howard taft. every one of them followed a president of their own party. so if obama loses, he's going to have to do something virtually unprecedented in 100 years of american history. secondly, he will have enough money to burn a wet mule. and that is a very large supply of money. you know, they talk about obama hopes to raise a billion dollars. well, they spent more than a billion dollars last time.
9:08 am
because people don't include on top of a $750 million or less the dnc race, $400 million spent by the labor unions. and this time i think it's fair to say the labor unions will spend a lot more, because that was before blowing. that was before the national labor relations board. and so i think obama second a big itch -- second biggest advantage is money. thirdly, there's a wide open gop nomination. and that's important to obama's strategy. off the republican candidates are less well known than any republican elected president in our lifetime. even mitt romney who has run before for president is less well known than anybody we elected in our lifetime. and that as we'll see in in them in fits into obama's strategy. of course, all of them have
9:09 am
significant issues. but let's face it, that's always the case. everybody was running for president, particularly was a very well-known when they started, as significant issues. finally, obama has another big advantage to go with his money, and that is no primary. one of the frequent precursors of an incoming president losing is a serious challenge in the primary. to look at lyndon johnson in 1968, jimmy carter in 1980, george bush in 1992. the last three presidents who either got defeated gore didn't run for reelection was because they had party trouble, internal challenge. so obama's got some cards to play. i don't care if is job approval is 43, he still got some cards to play. the republican advantages of the
9:10 am
day pretty well mark went through them. there are conditions, the condition in which the country and the voters find themselves. 9.1% unemployment, a weak economy that is perceived by the public as probably, as being weaker than it probably is. because most americans say we are in a recession right now. and they are pessimistic and don't have confidence. this is hugely accelerated for the republicans by obama's policies. because obama's policies in the minds of many people are making bad conditions worse. talking about huge tax increases on employers, when the biggest problem we have in the country is not enough jobs. well, how do you tell employers are going to take $2 trillion away from them and expect him to go out and hire more people? the obamnicare, unpopular in its
9:11 am
own right but also in a fundamental issues about stronger economy and job creation, how do you expect employers to go out and hire people when they don't know whether obligations or costs are going to be for their employees health care? energy policy, you know, don't forget the price of gasoline is $1.83 when president obama was inaugurated and i think most americans agree with me that it looks like the obama energy policy will drive up the price of energy so americans will use less of the. it has a huge effect on the economy. i think all of these domestic issues, taxes, spending, deficit, debt, health care, regulatory regime, all amplified people's concerns about the economy and make them think that obama's policies are actually hurting that is not helping. foreign policy cuts both ways. i think obama will get some
9:12 am
votes by drawing down or pulling out, whatever you want to say, of afghanistan and iraq. but as we saw in new york, his israel policy is fraught with danger. for him because a lot of american jews and supporters of israel thinks he has not been a good supporter of israel. all of these things show up in the polls. low job approval, right track, wrong track numbers that are unprecedentedly low, disapproval of obamnicare is the story of yesterday that a majority of americans still want to repeal obamacare. some of you old people here, my age, know that historically when a new entitlement is created, within a fairly short a fairly short period of time, even if it was controversial, it becomes fairly popular and that has not been the case with obamacare. you look at all those things, in the republicans favor, plus
9:13 am
their recent precedents. one of the things that you might not have noticed, the last three presidential elections who generally follow the outcome of the preceding congressional election, republicans want a little bit of a victory in 1998, one a little bit of a victory in 2000 republicans did a little bit better in 2002, bush won by a low bit bigger margin in 2004. republicans got clobbered, democrats won in 2006. obama was elected president 2006. so 2010, is it going to follow the pattern that republicans won the midterm election by big margin, are they going to win in 12? obama's plan is to try to change them all back to what it was in 1994, big republican victory, in 1996 bill clinton reelection.
9:14 am
at the republicans, all those things are going for the republicans. but i have to remind you of something pretty important to 2010 republican victory wasn't a great embrace of the republicans. it was not some overwhelming statement that boy, we love the republicans, we need to get them back. it was a day -- it was that they didn't already like the democrats and they didn't have anybody else to vote for, so the republicans came in with some people hopeful, but nobody strongly loyal that the republicans are going to do the right thing. it was more of kick the bums out. that brings us to 2012. the election will be one in a million. the election will be one in the middle. 2004 hardly anybody in the country was and decided or change their mind, went from voting for john kerry to george
9:15 am
bush, or george bush to john kerry. and the election was primarily about who could get their people to the polls. it was a great turnout election, and mechanics and operations were hugely rewarded. very few people changed their mind. i think this year will be very different. i think the pool of undecideds will be very large, and i think you will ebb and flow. if somebody writes something bad about rick perry, it will get bigger of undecided, or somebody writes something bad about mitt romney, you know, people will move from deadly against obama to make i'm going to give them a chance but independent ticket splitters, soft democrats, soft republicans, that's what this election will be decided. and i predict at times that more than 20% of the voters will either be undecided or subject to changing who they vote for.
9:16 am
they tell a story, dave parker and a couple of other people old enough to remember ed sullivan. remember the ed sullivan show on sunday night. ed sullivan had conrad hilton on the show. business i can't -- business icon, invented a new business, the luxury hotel chain. so sullivan in his manner as soon as conrad hilton walked out, he said if you don't know american people wanting what you tell? conrad hilton never slowed down, never flinched, never hesitate. he said put a shower curtain inside the tub. [laughter] now, quite frankly the republican strategy is that simple. it gets down to one, one thing, make the 2012 presidential election a referendum on barack obama's policies and the results of those policies. his record.
9:17 am
because he can't run on his record. and the republicans have to know that. his record is not approved by critical groups, seniors, independence. look at polling now, very much like republicans because they disapprove of obama's policies and his results he's gotten. obama on the other hand wants this election to be anything but a referendum on him. he wants to run against george bush, is what he wants to do. and we will see. elections of incumbents or referendum on the income of. by the democrats will do whatever it takes to keep that from happening. and the best way for them to win is trying to make the republican unacceptable. try to make the republican somebody who is disqualified.
9:18 am
and they are aided by a couple of things. again we've already talked about one, the republican is going, at the outset at least, is less well-known than any republican is gotten elected president in our lifetime. so that means there's a lot of canvas that the democrats can draw on. and, frankly, in the nominating contest the republicans are helping the democrats by, you know, chewing on each other, which is just part of it. and you have a competitive deal. but the democrats want to make the republican unacceptable to the center, because that's where the election is going to be. a second thing as i mentioned earlier, obama's going to have a tremendous amount of money and no opponent. so when the republican wins the nomination, or when we know who our nominee is going to become and that's going to be typically in early march, with florida's
9:19 am
decision to move up their primary it could actually be in february. a pretty early on we will know who our nominee is going to be. our nominee will be broke, and the republican national committee was not have the resources, and hopefully we will have the judgment to defend the nominee during the period from when we know who it is to the convention, the period i call the interregnum. obama and the democrats and labor unions will carpet bomb whoever the nominee of the republican is. i mean, three, four, $509 to try to disqualified the republican poll. i mean, they were hit him so hard that his grandma wouldn't recognize him. or vote for him. after doing this. and it will be a five month, six month thing. and that would be really the defining period for the
9:20 am
republicans. how do the republicans survived that? is what bill clinton did to bob dole. remember 1995 and six, about $100, about a hundred and $15 million really of dnc and labor union money attacking bob dole and the republican congress. bob dole never led in full during the 1996 election. the closest he ever got was three points behind during the convention in san diego in august of 1996. and that's why. because they disqualified him before he was actually the general election candidate. the democrats will try to do that today. i mean, next year. and today you can already see. it happened, i was on tv yesterday. he got asked a question about chris christie. he had a litany of all the things wrong with chris christie. i mean, he came with his list of here's what i'm supposed to say that about chris christie.
9:21 am
and i guarantee you such a list exists for every other republican. you know, the liberal media can be complicit in this. not everyday. [laughter] not everyday but most days. the one thing obama is not doing that clinton did, he is not moving to the center. we don't hear him say the era of big government is over. we don't seem triangulating. remember that clinton, when he had a republican congress pass welfare reform, signed welfare reform, and we had a first balanced budget in a generation because he made the decision okay, people spoke, i'm good to make the most other. ronald reagan did the same thing. never had a republican house, but he passed the reagan economic plan with a democrat housed in the 86 tax reform bill. immigration reform. all without a republican
9:22 am
majority in both houses, similar situation. so if you are waiting to see obama triangulate, it looks like you're going to have a pretty long wait because in his most recent opportunity, the jobs bill, a jobs bill was just more of the same. smaller version. and i don't know why, it may be that they think they have to unite, the democrats, that they are worried about their base. i don't know that, but you do have to make sure your base stays in line, even, even when the election is going to be one in the senate. a couple more thoughts. one of the less great hope is that tea party will cost a fraction in the republican party, and hopefully in their minds a third party. meaning president obama's fonts over election is somehow split the anti-obama vote, which is a majority right now.
9:23 am
and the tea party move to a third party would do that. i personally think that is most unlikely because nothing unites republicans like wanting to get rid of obama. i mean, they are very single-minded. there's a lot of very conservative of would vote for romney in a minute and there's a very lot of my republicans who would vote for rick perry in a minute. and all sorts of flavors in between. in fact, republicans are so single-minded i think we go to convention in tampa, it's going to be like logical visitation just a penitentiary. [laughter] everyone will have one thing on their mind. and that's getting rid of obama and that's, and that's, that's what i think, that's right think we are. in the fall race i think you should expect harsh, negative hopefully not personal. if the republicans are best served, if the campaign is about
9:24 am
policy. not about personalities. president obama's policies are unpopular. is not personally unpopular. the best way to win is to make the election about jobs and the economy, and then what obama has done and let people decide. do you think what he has done has helped or hurt? and so that's the best policy for us. democrats will say that obama has done as well as possible with the situation he inherited. problems caused by bush's policy, and then was a which are of course the policies of whoever the republicans -- the republicans own it, that unqualified, unacceptable lousy, crummy, phony liar. board words to that effect. seriously, that would be their defense, but their offense as i said will be making our guide and acceptable. a lot of people make the mistake in my opinion of them but if obama wins it will be a
9:25 am
republican house. i don't think you can assume that. 61 republican house members rep the districts that obama carried. 15 of them represent districts obama carried by more than 10 points. very hard for a freshman to survive that kind of weight in the district. is it likely the republicans will keep the house? it is. the majority, you know, it's not huge but it's solid. but it isn't for certain. that's going to be a lot more race than people think. as far as senate is concerned a lot of people think repugnance take over the city. 23 democrats it's a. republicans will have to pick up for. i'm not so sure. a bunch of the democrat seats are pretty safe in places, like rhode island, you only when teddy kennedys seat once in your lifetime. we are not likely to be picking up rhode island or vermont in
9:26 am
the senate. and then some other really good states have people, democrats, who have performed extremely well at the ballot box, like ben nelson, like other senator nelson are so i think there again is a likelihood the republicans will win the senate. and particularly if we win the white house. but it's not for sure. and if there's nothing else to prove things are for sure, today's governors race in west virginia will show you how unpredictable this is. a few weeks ago the democrats were ahead 33 points. and it democratic polling firms taken yesterday, the democrats were ahead one point, 47-46. interestingly the democrat has never moved outside the margin of error. he sat right where he was, 45, 46, 47. and republican has little by
9:27 am
little gone. i would doubt seriously we will see a republican governor elected in west virginia today. but if we do it will fit right in there with new york nine as a gigantic statement about democrats repudiation of their own president. because republicans don't get elected governor of west virginia in less a whole lot of democrats vote for. but present pajamas -- president obama's -- good place if you the candidate for governor. we'll see what happens. so what do we know about 12? remember in politics you don't know until the election is over. but here's what we think we know and have reason to believe. tough, contentious negative campaign. looks today like it will be very close, but a lot can change, and a lot will change.
9:28 am
about three minutes ago chris christie started a news conference to which, in which he will announce he will not be running for president. that changes a lot of math that has been going on for the last few days, or a few weeks. who it helps, who it hurts. i'm not able to predict but it is a reminder that a lot of what we see speculated, talk about, written about in the news media is not fact. and i'm not saying they claim it's fact, but the hard facts are few at this stage, and at venues and conversations, and the speculations are immense. the media seems, or maybe the media wants you to think that whatever happened in the last 24 hours can be extrapolated today what's going to happen in the next 24 weeks. well, that's just not, that's not the case. there's some things we know
9:29 am
about politics. good gets better. bad gets worse. when you're in the negative prism, you're going to keep going down until some point stops you. it may be a bounce. but the corollary, the good gets better, but bad gets worse is things in politics are never as good as they say and they are never as bad as they say. and it's hard to get that out of the news media sometime. but it's why we used to say, the old days, today's headlines are tomorrow's fish wrappers. only politico and "the wall street journal" so in a paper spring break to understand what that means today, but today's headlines don't necessary tell us much about what's going to happen next week, much less next year. 90% of what's going on, 90% of what matters for the republican nomination has not happened yet. it's a little different for
9:30 am
obama. three years of record, of conditions, of seeing him, a lot of people have made up their mind. .. that matters to them. that will make it a close, interesting, and hopefully find election. banks, y'all. [applause] [applause]
9:31 am
>> governor, that was fascinating. i should say it was thinking as you were speaking. is this great trend in politics now where people used to be political operatives in dipping into elective office themselves been making this transformation from political hacked to statesman. i cover virginia politics where the -- mark warner was like you, very successful political operatives and then went on to become. you did a very successful. the pop -- the problem, it a much less interesting interview. one day and said, you were more interesting as a political hack many were as a statesman. you're still willing to mix it up, even as statesmen, you still have a political operative menu. that's well above before. more q&a would not be too statesmanlike. we want plenty of good political
9:32 am
-- >> plenty of good, easy questions. >> all right. my question concerns conjugal visitation rights. we do actually have those things? >> sure. >> glad to have a. in which or going to have a conversation here rather than add to the. i would like to enlist all of you. of course to start out with some questions. first of cullis display of the news. governor christie, there was this great christy fever, all kinds of speculations, overheated speculation, i should say as he suggested in the press. ultimately he decided, and i think most of us have a sense that it probably was going to come down to him not running, but you had a similar experience. give us your best guess as to what christie was thinking, what was going through his head. is not very often and lie for you have up people, employees of
9:33 am
people literally begging you to run which was in fact the case. people who were prepared to raise money, prepared to go out. this is your moment. roberts and the only knocks once. barack obama had a situation. a once-in-a-lifetime chance. i'm going to do it. governor christie made a different calculation. tells what you think was and is said. pros and cons, shall i do this are not. >> i don't think it was speculated. if you are calculating u.s.a. this may be the best chance ever get to be president and a ticket, but he and mayor pat, his wife, had made the decision earlier in the year -- actually, it may have been late last year, but in the last few months that he was ready, he wasn't going to run. he had been governor a year, maybe a year and a half. he was ready and he had made that decision. as things developed, you know, i would just tell you that i think
9:34 am
chris would have supported me for president if i had run. maybe some other people he thought well of. fewer people got in the race. i think mitch daniels had a lot of supporters to then work encouraging chris to run. i know a lot of my supporters, particularly in the east were encouraging chris to run. i think he felt like he noted to them not to just pull them off. i mean, he is the governor of new jersey. a lot of these people from new york deal with each other, have investments in this state, and i think he said tamayo them at least to the courtesy to seriously rethink this. and then i think he restarted again to the same conclusion, wises i think a very positive statement about why people would want chris christie to run for president because he is true to himself. he is not going to be at have way can it it. i had a very similar experience.
9:35 am
all men are not in at all. this is the most consuming job of the history -- i mean, on the face of the earth, and nobody in history has ever gone to the president's that didn't make it their job to be as good. good president of the president. maybe william howard taft. nobody in our lifetime has done this without being totally consumed by it. so you better be ready, and chris knew that, and i knew that. that is the principal reason i didn't run, and i suspect -- teat. >> you are suggesting it is quite possible this was more personal decision and a political decision. assess the politics -- politics. how wide open was the door? we've seen lots of people from the door look silly open but then actually did and and it turns out that this is, as senator mccain said over the weekend, the water is not always warm as it looks. what would have happened?
9:36 am
>> chris has the advantage of being in the biggest media market in the world. he's much better known than the average governor. far better known nationally and rick perry you has been governor tenures and done a very successful good governor of the state, considerably larger than new jersey. but chris christi, much better known, and he has gone -- run-up in a tough environment, made some tough decisions and make them stick. you look at what they have had to deal with top particularly on the fiscal side and on the dealings with the state unions and that sort of stuff, and christy has made tough decisions and importantly his democrat legislature has supported him enough to worry is done things done. i can tell you, for seven years as governor and never had a republican majority in either house. we did toward reform, reform and medicaid.
9:37 am
we did a lot of different things, particularly in spending cuts with both houses democrats, and that's harder than men both houses are republicans. christie is done the same thing. christie is done with the democratic was larger ed bennett and the full view of the country because the new york media market just gets spread out to everywhere that there is. >> help us make sense of the republican field. it seems in some ways very fluid. perry rise above the polls. now seems like maybe he is writing down. there was a moment in august where republican field seemed quite captivated by michele bachmann. that doesn't seem to up have as much prominence as she was hoping. on the other hand, mitt romney, he joins a long, and he doesn't go up in the doesn't seem to go down. why is that? >> first of all, this is my
9:38 am
12th presidential election. this time i feel the field looks more like the democratic field often looks, not really a front-runner, people are not very well-known, but have something to recommend. very good records doing what they did. as i say, not a single one of the people in our field is as well-known as the least well-known republicans elected president in my lifetime. so you're starting off with people don't know very much about them. secondly, there is an intense desire among republicans to have a new president, and there are a lot of republicans in normally would say, well, i'm going to be for this war of alan who are sambar to be for the one i think as the best chance to be obama. and so that takes away some of the initial energy from the
9:39 am
candid it. the talk about bachmann, first of all, i think she has performed better than i expected. i've seen her speak a couple of times, as he is very compelling. she's got a great story. but we forget, she was born in iowa. you know, when she was the straw poll in ames to iowa, instead of let me win the straw poll and mississippi. she's from there. she represents the next state. so i thought that was pretty predictable once she got in the race. but there is not a lot in this race predictable. again, don't read much into it. robber that in september 4 years ago first in the polls for the republican nomination was rudy giuliani and second in the polls was fred thompson. john mccain was way back. >> i think it was yogi berra is said prediction is really hard,
9:40 am
especially up the future. >> amen. as usual, yogi get the right. >> talk to me about the outside independent group and the republican side, american crossroads, which some have suggested is going to raise so much money that it could burn know what you'll. >> a good figure. that would be a good number. how much money does it take to burn a lead a much money are you personally going to raise for them? most important why you're raising money for american crossroads, an outside group when he spent your whole life within the formal party establishment? >> let me say, first of all, burning a what deal comes from the fact back in the 19th and pre-world war two 20th-century where i come from, the river would get out almost every year and people farmed with mules. a lot of meals with always drown in a bad flood. we didn't have my cell, but people knew that if you let the mules just brought out in the
9:41 am
sun there were a health hazard. the government made you burn them. it takes a lot of fuel to burn a wet mule. [laughter] it's expensive. of course you all knew that. [laughter] >> now you need a see a permit. >> today you could burn one before rotted. america crossroads is an independent group, 527 committee. like the republican governors association, the republican governors' association is not covered by the federal election campaign law because we don't support candidates running for federal office. we are not under the federal rules. america crossroads is not governed for a different reason. they are totally independent. just as the labor unions and the
9:42 am
groups spend millions and hundreds of millions of dollars to help elect obama last time, somebody needs to do that to even the playing field will level the playing field for our candidate, particularly during that time i talked about. the republican national committee is covered by the federal election campaign act, so they can only to a smaller contributions, and they're just mad going to have the money to defend our nominee and keep the focus on obama's record during the spring and summer, and then turn around and to what role they have to do in the fall. somebody has to do it to help them in the same way that the labor unions and all these others do it to help the democrats. >> to you have any problem justin concepts with groups like american crossroads or groups of
9:43 am
the sort that george soros has funded? to they represent something that the public should be concerned about? that is, you do it because you need to stay competitive? t think there are fine just on their own. >> well, there is a reason that we have them, and that is mccain, fine gold, and every previous attempt to change the federal election campaign laws. because what we ought to do is have unlimited contributions to both parties and let them report high on that day. we actually report and that date. and if you decide, well, haley barbour give a bunch of money to somebody, and i don't like caylee barbara so therefore i'm going to vote against whoever he give money to, well, you know what. but what we have done, what progress is done, they oppose the parties away from the campaigns and candid it's so that some campaigns outside
9:44 am
groups spend more money than the campaign spends. i mean that literally. there are campaigns are outside groups spend more money. the campaign in some states is allowed to take contributions of more than $500. i mean, what we ought to do is have unlimited contributions to the parties, and then let the parties to this, and they're is a far, far smaller chance of something being arrived than some group that comes and goes, but it is also giving the public what the public wants and needs, disclosure. full, immediate disclosure, and then let the public decide. if george soros give somebody $5 million, you can decide if that makes me more likely, less likely to more i don't care. but what we have done is we have made the money harder to find, harder to trace, and, no offense, a lot of the newspapers have been implicit in this
9:45 am
because they say you shouldn't -- we should limit the amount of money to be too much money is spent in my own opinion because they want to have more control of the messes this serb american people. i think speech is not only protected in the constitution in, but that money and political campaigns is speech. it is how we campaign and speak to 300 million americans, and some of the newspaper business would rather they get all the news of the new york times. [laughter] >> i'm going says the question in a moment. i want to hear haley barbour, the elder statesman, "first-ever question, haley barbour the political strategist. just as a lawyer should be able to defend a client that he doesn't actually happen to personally like to my political strategists should be able have
9:46 am
a candid to read as a really like. president obama, as you described in a real jam, although he has some assets, as you also described. what is the need to do now to win an election? just your neutral advice. obviously it's not someone the root for. what should he do? >> move to the center. i was surprised that he didn't do what clinton did because -- question he strike? is in life for much of 2011 he was trying. every time he tried the base of more and more disaffected. >> you guys act like he tried. >> does of the new york times dollar we didn't buy it. >> if you take the hat -- allowing the bush tax cuts to continue, you know, some in the news media acted like that was some concession. it was no concession. he couldn't get the votes. he could not get enough democratic votes in the senate, and so there is not a
9:47 am
concession. i love when he did his budget and when he made this state of the union address, and each case he just reiterated everything the american people have voted against. he wanted another chilean dollars in tax increases on employers. you know, all the government's spending became governments and vesting, investments. but the san same. and his -- and then where his budget came out, spending went up. the deficit went up. this is supposed to be in response to the 2010 election to and then we just have this new jobs will which he said to the american people, i what i jobs will have this big as my stimulus package, which failed. this will only bail has bats. >> as some point, the fundamentals of his circumstances become kayten?
9:48 am
obviously evans can and we will happen right up to the time of collection, but it seems to me in 1996 would be referenced above by january it was pretty clear the country was not ready to give bill clinton a second term and that it would be upheld for bob dole. it seemed to feel back to january 1980 it was by no means certain that ronald reagan would be the next president, but it was pretty clear the country was eager and ready for an alternative to jimmy carter. how long does barack obama have? get people to think of him in a somehow fundamentally different like. >> after three years people are pretty well made up their minds. >> is already too late. faunas which is the present through this with you and. >> particularly with what he's done this year. he does seem to the tried to play to his base when this seems to be unnecessary to play his bass. i think his base, if he has any
9:49 am
rest for is basis is to vote, that they will vote for the republicans. he has alienated the center. if you look at polling, independence look almost exactly the same as republicans. he has given up about 30 points and job approval among independent spirit about 30 points in job approval among seniors, of 30 points of job approval pipeline a critical group from, white working-class midwesterners. hillary won them in the primaries. he won them in the general election, and now he has had a big stink. if, in fact among the republicans elected governor of west virginia today which i think is not likely, but if that happens that's too is going to be about. it's going to be white working-class democrats saying, i want to send a message, just like there were huge numbers of
9:50 am
jewish democrats in new york nine, a seed that the democrats held for 90 years. the only one at 45 times in a row, which is why debbie wasserman said it was, you know, a tough district for democrats. but a big statement there was a lot of democrats said -- singh obama message. there is a lot that obama can do to help himself, but he doesn't seem to like that. he likes to be combative. he wants to have class warfare, and he doesn't want to move to the center of. >> i would like to in just a moment did the audience in. please give me a sign. raise your hand. a quick question. i have ask you to be the political operative. now i'm asking you to take the long view and bnl the statement. you have been in politics a long
9:51 am
time. there are a lot of people who live here from and i'm sure you hear from them also the mother think there's something fundamentally broken about our politics right now. the country is deeply pessimistic. washington seems to be ever more acrimonious a place. more and more people are disaffected with the system. do you think that there is something fundamentally broken in our politics, or do we just face some very difficult circumstances with the poor economy and some policies that have been very controversial person that is why everybody is in a bad marriage? was going on? >> there is some of both. congressional districts have become more and more one-sided. not very many competitive seats. and so usually the most left-wing democrat wins the democratic primary and the most conservative republican was a republican primary. people in the middle i just
9:52 am
carried away with the choices. more important and most of those districts, the most conservative republican is almost an automatic winner because it's so heavily republican. the most liberal democrat is almost automatic winner because it's so heavily democrat. but that is only part of it. the fact that they don't live here is part of it, they don't know each other. i can remember as a college boy my family were eastman people. a senator for about four years. very conservative. he invited me one son by his office when i was in town. teddy kennedy and chris dodd, roman russa called curtis, two of the most white republicans, the most liberal democrats and a couple more, all having a drink. there were social friends. they liked each other. you don't see much of that anymore. but the problems a hard.
9:53 am
i'm going to tell you, ronald reagan with a divided congress had just as hard problems. bill clinton with a divided congress didn't have as tough a problem, but he made real progress on the big issues. at some point somebody has got to provide. that is, i think, will people looking for. they haven't decided. were going to have to get a new president. he can still win by making his poll numbers. >> you had your hand up. >> absolutely. the incumbents seem to be using race more and more as an issue. i'm just curious how you see that playing out. >> well, you know, it's funny. and i was thinking about running for president it became publicly known that we were going to have a 50th anniversary celebration of freedom riders. mississippi may 1961. when they got there they get.
9:54 am
integrating a bus station. when alice in cuba right for president the news media said i was doing that because those the game about running for president. frankly, we have started planning a two years before. in two dozen 7i propose to sub civil rights museum. and i was thinking about running for president, we did that because he was going to run for president. well, the fact of the matter is that neither one of those things were true, but race has a great attraction for the liberal media elite, particularly if you have an accent like mine or rick perry said or anybody who is a southern republican conservative christian. get ready for some of that. and you just have to put on the big board bridges and not let it bother you. but is -- it is true -- here's
9:55 am
rick perry appointed the first black chief justice of the texas state supreme court. has scads of hispanic appointees all through his administration and black appointees to that, you know, today's washington post on the front page has a headline that has in it too words, perry and race because there is some people but that is what they want to make elections about, presumably because obama is the first african-american president. the fact is there are a lot of people that voted for him because he is an african-american. real progress for our country. so i find that the race still aren't so stomach, mostly because i had to go through it myself. and so you're right. that is one of the flavors that some people want to inject into this campaign, and i think
9:56 am
ultimately it has no place in the campaign and it will be shown to not have any place. >> a couple of minutes, so will go quickly and try to get a couple of questions before our time runs out. yes, sir. >> governor, could you comments with respect to the role of the so-called reagan democrats? he said the race would be decided in the middle. a lot of the people and the metal could be more modern day reagan democrats. can you comment on their role in how the republicans we will appeal to them and forget organized labor and washington. i'm talking about the reagan democrats outside. >> two groups of reagan democrats, if you look back 30 years. one of mostly southern and republicans today. the other are mostly midwestern. a lot of them union labor, lot of the catholic, and there are still democrats, but they're much more conservative than the democratic party.
9:57 am
periodically they will the very heavily republican. of course, that is what the republicans hope for, and it is what the democrats will try to prevent but trying to make the republican candid it unacceptable. >> we have our last question here. >> please talk. first of all, thank you so much. the main thing for republicans is to be obama. independents are keen to that. why isn't there more excitement around a candidate like mitt romney, who might end up being the depaul candidate, was not seem to be a very inspiring choice for republicans? >> well, ms. is less conservative than most republicans. a lot of republicans remember reagan, so they don't accept the idea that nominating the most moderate republican is the path with a victory because that's what people thought in 1980,
9:58 am
that reagan was a conservative. always been told -- i was told that the path towards with champagne at the white house when reagan won the nomination. being the carter white house, i doubt that they had champagne at the white house, but they were happy. there were very happy. that's a they wanted to run against. a lot of republicans think that today, but there are a lot of soft republicans, independents to vote republican lot who want the more moderate gated. that is part of the process that you have to work through. it is not unusual, but there was a time really all the way to 1980 when there were simply too wings of the republican party. you know, whether it was the taft to leave or the roosevelt taft or the reagan ford, reagan rockefeller. that doesn't exist anymore.
9:59 am
the last 30 years the republican party has been unified. there have been some more moderate republicans that are uncomfortable with that, but my opinion is they will vote for whomever the republican is to be obama. they think it would be easier to vote for mitt then to vote for rick, but, again, they probably don't know either one of them very well. they have a lot of getting to know to do. politics doesn't work anymore we did in a smoke-filled room and pick here is the guy with the best chance because for better or worse the voters get to pick, and they are not -- usually are not driven by that. frankly, i think there is more of it this year than there typically is a just say i want to be for whoever can be obama. >> good question. >> perfect combination of statesmen and operative.
10:00 am
thank you very much. we have to turn back over. >> i would like to again thank governor haley barbour, more than a few years that will she was on the debating stays in the last couple. one of the smartest governors to one of the most acute political strategists, and i can tell you that we are looking forward to working with you in 2012. i also wanted thank john harris, one of the most awful journalists in the country. along with his colleagues he has built a real powerhouse and political media here in washington. very proud to work with john. i would like to just wrapped up by thinking our sponsors. the brought more citibank, smart brief, see you update and a lumber political report. without the support this would not be possible. i would like to thank the studio audience today as well as those
10:01 am
listing on c-span. our next program will be -- >> the senate is about to get voluntary they will begin the day with about an hour of general speeches before returning to a bill dealing with china's currency manipulation. he does not mention china but allows sanctions against any country found to be holding its currency artificially low. senate democratic leader eric reed has blocked a menace to the bill after republicans proposed several unrelated amendments, including president obama's jobs plan as an amendment. senators will vote thursday on limiting debate and allowing only germain amendments to the can't do and to be what we can't be, as we remember that, without you, we can do nothing.
10:02 am
we pray in your sovereign name. amen. the presiding officer: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington, d.c, october 5, 2011. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable kirsten e. gillibrand, a senator from the state of new york, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: daniel k. inouye, president pro tempore. mr. reid: i note the absence of a quorum, madam president. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
10:03 am
10:04 am
10:05 am
10:06 am
mr. reid: madam president, i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be terminated. officer without objection. mr. reid: following morning business, the senate will be in morning business for an hour. the republicans will control the first half, the majority will control the second half. following that the senate will resume consideration of s. 1619. cloture was filed on the bill last night. as a result, filing deadline for first-degree amendments is 1:00 p.m. today. unless agreement is reached, a cloture vote on the bill will
10:07 am
occur tomorrow morning. the republican leader and i have had a number of discussions and we'll decide if there will be amendments on the china trade. it is my understanding that both democrats and republicans want to offer some amendments, and certainly we can do that, even though there's a cloture petition having been filed. madam president, franklin roosevelt said that no man can truly be free without economic security. 14 million people unemployed, out of work in america, there are far too many people living in the richest nation of the world yet unable to enjoy the full freedom and independence for which america stands. so this congress has no greater challenge -- none -- and no more important responsibility than to enact the policies that help american businesses flourish and grow, put american citizens to work, and get our struggling economy back on track to prosperity.
10:08 am
so i was disappointed yesterday when my republican friends chose to play political games with not one but two pieces of important job-creating legislation. the bill before the senate would even the odds for american workers and manufacturers in the global marketplace by stopping unfair currency manipulation by the chinese government. it would support 1.6 million american jobs, and it has the support of democrats, republicans, labor leaders, and business groups. we should pass it quickly so we can move on to other important work facing the senate this month. but yesterday republicans threatened to derail this legislation, even though they overwhelmingly support it, and allow china to continue to tilt the playing field. also during this work period which ends in two weeks is commonsense job legislation proposed by the president of the united states. president obama's plan would invest in roads, bridges, and dams and other construction
10:09 am
efforts to create jobs. it would put construction crews back to work, building and renovating schools. it would extend unemployment insurance for americans who are still struggling to find work. and, madam president, in that regard, mark zandi, who certainly is no democratic spokesperson -- in fact he was the economic advisor for john mccain's presidential election -- has said there's no more important stimulus for the economy than giving an unemployment check to somebody who's out of work. it would -- that is, president obama's legislation -- would expand the payroll tax; it's been very popular. it will provide immediate relief to middle-class citizens and businesses. this legislation would revita revitalize communities that have been devastated by foreclosures. the president's plan includes some ideas proposed by republicans and other ideas offered by dessments and no matter what, this legislation is fully paid for. we may have different ideas ho n
10:10 am
how to pay for it but we know the president's legislation is a smart, effective way to spur job creation. democrats have listened to the american people, and they have been very, very clear. the american people believe it is time for millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share to help this country thrive. americans from every donor of the country and every -- from every corner of the country and every walk of life agree. republicans, democrats, independents asked if they would support a plan to support this country, the results are resounding. stunningly strong. nearly 80% of americans said "yes." wealthy americans agree. two-thirds of the people making more than $1 million a year said they would gladly contribute more. a supermajority of republicans agree, with two-thirds saying they supported the idea. and even a majority -- 52% of the tea party members agree.
10:11 am
so when democrats bring this commonsense job legislation to the floor, we'll ask americans who make more than $1 million a year to contribute more to help this country reduce its jobs deficit. i'm sure my republican colleagues would like the opportunity to debate how this congress tablings the most important issue facing the country today: the jobs deficit. that's why i was so disappointed yesterday when my friend, the republican leader, attempted to snuff out debate and prevent a bipartisan discussion about thousand move the american jobs act forward. rather than debating this bill on the floor, as we usually do he wants to tack this important job creator onto on o on an unrd measure. i was willing to move to another mairchlt but the republicans blocked that effort.
10:12 am
again and again during the last few weeks. republicans havejected an all-or-nothing approach to legislation. so imagine nigh price when they were unwilling to engage in a debate that this bill deserves. instead, they took the all-or-nothing approach they were concerned about only a few hours earlier. this nation's unemployment crisis is very serious business. the republicans are more interested, it seems, in partisan games much of the time than and political stunts than seriously legislationing. 14 million unemployed americans deserve better. we live in a nation founded on the principle that every american has a right to personal liberty. but if franklin roosevelt was correct that no man is free who lacks economic security -- and i'm confident he was right -- then we must do better as a congress and as a country. i assure everyone within the sound of my voice that democrats will do whatever we can to heal our ailing economy, even if it means the richest of the rich in
10:13 am
america have to contribute a little bit more tomorrow than they do today. mr. mcconnell: madam president? the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: the past three weeks, president obama has been racing around the country trying to rally public support for a second stimulus bill and demanding that congress pass it right away. the president has not been demanding that congress debate the bill or be allowed to amend the bill; he has demanded in one uncertain terms that we held a vote on the bill as it is right away. a couple of weeks ago in denver, the president said, he's got the pens all ready, lined up on his desk, ready to sign it into law. just yesterday in texas he called on congress to put the bill up for a vote, society entire country -- so the entire country knows exactly wherever member of congress stands. one of the president's top advisors, david axelrod, summed up the position like this.
10:14 am
"we want them to act now on this package," david axelrod said. "we're not in negotiations to break up the package. it's not an a la carte menu." so yesterday i tested the president's rhetoric. i proposed that we do exactly what he wants and vote, right away on the second stimulus bill he's proposed as the proposed solution to our jobs crisis and the democrats blocked it. in other words, the president's own party at the only obstacle to having a vote on his so-called jobs bill. and now our democratic friends want to jettison entire parts of the bill altogether, not to make it more effective at growing jobs, not to grow bipartisan support. no, they want to overhaul the bill to sharpen its political edge. so my suggestion to the white house is that if the president wants to keep traveling around the country demanding a vote on this second stimulus, that he focus his criticism on
10:15 am
democrats, not republicans, because they're the ones who are now standing in the way of an immediate vote on this legislation. but, of course, the president knew as well as i did that many democrats in congress don't like this bill anymore that republicans do. -- than republicans do. despite his rhetoric, he knew republicans were not the only obstacle. which means one thing. the president is not engaged right now in a good-faith effort to spur the economy or create jobs through legislation. he's engaged in a reelection campaign. by the way, the election is not until 14 months from now. 1.7 million americans have lost jobs since the president signed his first stimulus, and his idea of a solution is to propose another one. even democrats know it's a nonstarter, which is why so many of them don't want to have to vote for it. that's what we all witnessed here in the senate yesterday. it's time the president puts an
10:16 am
end to this charade. stop campaigning for a bill written in a way to guarantee it won't pass and work with us on the kind of job-creating legislation both parties can agree on. things like trade bills, rolling back overburdensome regulations, domestic energy production, tax reforms. republicans are ready to act on any and all of those issues. now, madam president, on another matter, it's come to my attention that the majority leader has written to the chairman and ranking member of the armed services committee asking them to modify the committee-reported national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2012. before he will allow the senate to consider that bill. the white house has made it clear that it objects to certain provisions dealing with the detention of unlawful enemy combatants and captured members of al qaeda and associated groups.
10:17 am
as the ranking member of the armed services committee explained to the senate, the committee voted in favor of those provisions overwhelmingly. my request to the majority leader would be to move to the national defense authorization act at the soonest possible moment to allow the senate to debate and amend the bill. if there are members on the other side who support the white house effort to bring unlawful enemy combatants into the united states for purposes of detention and civilian trial, the senate can debate that matter during consideration of the bill. i know that many members on my side would very much appreciate a debate on the importance of keeping detainees currently held at guantanamo from returning to the battlefield especially in places like yemen. once the senate completes consideration of the defense authorization act it could then move to consideration of the defense appropriations bill, another measure i assume would be subject to debate and amendment. and, madam president, i have one
10:18 am
more statement. today i want to pay tribute to a great friend of the city of louisville. a giant in both business and philanthropy who made kentucky products famous around the globe and man who i was proud to call a friend for more than 30 years. it is with great sadness that i report to my senate colleagues that osley brown ii passed away at the age of 69. he will be mourned and missed by many, not only by his family and those fortunate enough to know him, but also by countless
10:19 am
louisvilleans who did not get to meet the man personally but benefited from his numerous volunteer efforts and initiatives on behalf of our community. osley brown ii was born in 1942, the son of william lee lions brown and sally schaumburger brown who herself passed away a few months ago at the age of 100, as i noted one time on the senate floor. after graduating from yale university and stanford university's graduate school of business, osley spent 37 years at brown foreman, a company his great-grandfather founded, including 12 years as chief executive and 12 years as chairman. he started at brown foreman in 1961 as a summer employee. alesy continued a family legacy. brown foreman is one of
10:20 am
louisville's most significant companies and a major corporate citizen of our community. it provides almost 1,200 local jobs and still makes whiskey in jefferson county. as c.e.o. osley was a visionary in modernizing the marketing of its brand. as a result, labels like jack daniels and southern comfort are now recognized worldwide. under his leadership, brown foreman's stock more than quadrupled in value. to describe osley as a businessman, even a brilliant one, would be to scrape the surface of an ice cube of a tall glass of bourbon with water. with his wife christie he did much to improve the character and quality of life in louisville. he led organizations to support art, music, historic preservation and environmental
10:21 am
protection. he was a leader in the founding of actor's theater in louisville and a longtime board member. he served on the board of the speed art museum and was active in the fund for the arts and river fields. his family's charitable foundation, of which he was president gave millions of dollars to local churches and community groups. now, alsley did a lot more than write checks. he was passionately involved in everything he took part in. as the actor's theater board president, he was often seen cleaning the windows or phaoufpg props -- moving props. his deep knowledge of art came in handy on visits to art fairs on behalf of the speed art museum and he could inspire others to donate more of their time, efforts and resources on behalf of the causes he cared so deeply about just by setting the example. i first met alsy more than 30 years ago and saw he represented
10:22 am
the best louisville and kentucky had to offer. elaine and i send our deepest condolences to the family including his wife christie, his three children: alsly ii, brook barlyn and other family and friends. mr. kyl: -- the louisville, kentucky, newspaper published a paper on owsley brown and ask it be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. the senate will now be in morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for ten minutes each with the time equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees with the republicans controlling the first half and the majority controlling the second half. a senator: madam president?
10:23 am
the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. alexander: our country has endured a 9% unemployment rate for a longer time than since the great depression yet the majority leader is reluctant to address this joblessness in a serious way. one way to address it would have been to take the three trade agreements northed four and five years -- negotiated four and five years ago and send them up to the senate and house and let us ratify them and let us move ahead to avoid losing 350,000 jobs, as an estimate of the united states chamber of commerce, or create as many as a quarter million jobs. that's an estimate of the white house. yet, yet those three trade agreements had been sitting on the president's desk since the day he took office nearly three years ago. they arrived yesterday, or
10:24 am
monday i suppose it was. and they're here waiting for us to act on them. every day we don't act on them delays the day when we avoid losing 350,000 jobs or create 250,000 jobs. that's been the case every day for the last nearly 1,000 days. that would be a good way to address the jobs issue. instead we've had the president going around the country during the summer blaming republicans for not acting on the three trade agreements when in fact the president hadn't sent them to us. there is no way that the congress can act on them until the president forwards them, which he now has. and if he has, why are we not debating them today? that would be a good way to deal with the jobs issue. then here's another example: on september 8 the president asked to come before the congress and proposed his jobs bill. he said, if i counted correctly,
10:25 am
and i was sitting respectfully on the second row, almost on the front row, i think he said as many as 17 times "pass this jobs bill now." and if that weren't enough, he said it almost every day since then. the republican leader mentioned a few times -- he was in dallas yesterday. "pass this jobs bill now." i'm ready to enact it, said the president of the united states u. well, it's been sitting there on the democratic leader's desk for the last couple of weeks ever since the president sent it up here. he spoke about it on september 8. the person in this body whose job it is to set the agenda is the democratic leader, a member of the president's own party. why doesn't he bring it up? so the republican leader yesterday said i'll show courtesy to the president. i will ask the senate to do what the president has asked that we do, which is pass this jobs bill now. and the democratic leader
10:26 am
objected. so here for the second time we have the president running around the country saying one thing and then we try to do it, and his leader in the senate objects. what were we do instead? a couple of weeks ago the democrats manufactured a crisis over disaster aid while we could have been debating the trade bill, the jobs bill. and we could have been offering the republican proposals which we have to encourage trade, to give this president and future presidents new trade authority, to reform the tax law and to have a time-out on regulations that are throwing a big, wet blanket, making it more expensive and harder to create new jobs in america. that would have been the kind of debate that we could have had on the republican proposals that we believe would make a difference in this urgent jobs situation, which is giving us 9-% unemployment for a longer period of time than at any time since
10:27 am
the great depression. so now this week what are we doing? well, we are debating a piece of legislation. the democratic leader has decided this is the important piece of legislation to deal with jobs this week. and what will it do? it will give a punch in the nose to china, our second-largest trading partner, our third-largest export market, and our fastest-growing export market, and the second-largest economy in the world. history teaches us what will happen. we saw that during the great depression. perhaps it was the cause of the great depression. we remember the smoot-hawley tariff, the trade war that developed, the reciprocal punches in the nose that countries gave to themselves over trade, plunging the world into a depression. so here we are in a fragile moment when headlines are saying
10:28 am
we may be about to dip into a second recession, and what do we do? the democrat majority says their best idea about creating jobs is to punch in the nose our second-largest trade partner, our third-largest export market, and our fastest-growing export market, even though we know exactly what they'll do to us. history teaches us they'll punch us right back in the nose, and the result will be a trade war which destroys jobs rather than creates jobs. such legislation as that now pending on this floor is not how the world's strongest economy, the united states of america, should conduct itself. such legislation is a sign of weakness or lack of self-confidence or defeatism that is not worthy of the united states of america. in tennessee, we see the advantages of trading with the world, including with china u.
10:29 am
china's our third-largest export market after canada and mexico. our leading exports are chemicals and agricultural products. tennessee exports to china total $1.85 billion, a 43% increase over 2009. hraeul over 7% -- a little over 7% of all of our exports went to china. in tennessee, 116,000 jobs are related to the export of manufactured goods. 5.3 million jobs in america. at a time of joblessness, why should we be punching in the nose someone with whom -- to whom we might sell goods, and that would create jobs in the united states? what should we do instead? of course there's legitimate concern about the way china values its currency. the administration should work with china to change that. china should accelerate the appreciation of its currency. but what else should the united
10:30 am
states of america do? we might take a lesson from history. i remember 30 years ago when i was just beginning my time as governor of tennessee. china was not the country in the news. it was japan. there were books written: japan number one. the united states was, as it is today, the world's largest economy, but everybody was predicting watch out for japan. #*u japan is becoming number one. the united states cannot keep up with japan, it was said. their autos, their computers, their other sophisticated goods were going to overwhelm our markets and we would quickly fall behind. there was in the recallly 1-9 1-9d80's a $46 billion trade deficit with japan. what did we do? well, we didn't act defeatest. we didn't play games. we didn't act like we were the 15th largest economy in the world instead of the first.
10:31 am
we asserted ourselves. we went to japan and said to them, make in the united states what you sell in the united states and take down your trade barriers so we can sell in your country what we make it ours. i went there mievment i remember vividly going to tokyo in 1979 in november. i met with the nissan officials. they were considering locating a manufacturing plant in the united states. at that time they were making all the nissan cars and all the nissan trucks in japan that they sold in the united states. but they wanted to be in this market, which was and is the most profitable automobile market in the world. so we said to them, make here what you sell here and they did. they came to the united states and where are we 30 years later? nissan is saying to us that they have operated for 25 years now the most efficient automobile and truck plant in north america, and they're going to be making 85% of what they sell in
10:32 am
the united states here in the united states. nothing has done more to create higher incomes and better jobs in tennessee than the arrival of nissan and japanese industry followed by the american auto industry into our state over the last 30 years. that's how a strong and confident country asserts itself in the world's competition. that's not just true with automobiles; it's true with many other manufacturing companies that have come to our state from japan and from other places, and that's exactly the way we ought to deal with china. our administration can insert itself in a variety of ways about the currency issue. but we should not act like we're afraid of china anymore that we were afraid of japan 30 years ago. weerkd seize this as a -- we should seize this as a moment of opportunity. we should not escalate a trade war that no one will win. we should grow trade and sales and investment in china and urge them to make in the united
10:33 am
states what they sell in the united states. if they should do that that will create jobs here, rather than destroy jobs, as history teaches us a trade war will do. so i hope that the senate will decisively reject the legislation that's being proposed to initiative a trade war with china. now, if i may speak on another subject, in february of last year, we had a fairly extraordinarily event at the blair house here in washington,. the president invite add large number of members of congress -- must have been 60 or 70 of us around a table. he sat there the whole day and we sat around the table and we talked about health care. it was called the health care summit. a great many americans have watched that live on television, and because of the internet and other explosions of new media, they still watch some of the things that were said that day.
10:34 am
the reason i know that is because people come up to me often and talk about an exchange that i had with the president of the united states. the issue was about individual health care premiums, citing a congressional budget office report, i said to the president, "mr. president, respectfully, your new health care law that you propose is going to increase individual premiums." he stopped mecy and, "now, lamar, let's get our facts right. you're wrorchg about that" and he proceed to explain to me why i was wrong and he was right. with all respect, i believe i was right, and even just a little year later, what the congressional budget office was saying then, which was that individual premiums would go up as a result of the health care law, the last 13 mofntses have 3 months have shown that we're exactly right. the kaiser foundation released a
10:35 am
survey that showed the average family premium was $16,000. the average family premium for employer-sponsored insurance is not the same as the individual insurance that we were talking about -- i was talking about with the president a year ago, but it is the same subject. republicans were saying that we oppose the health care bill because it would increase premiums. and what we wanted to do was to lower the cost of health care for americans by going step by step in that direction rather than expanding an expensive health care system that was already too expensive for most americans and doing did in a way that would increase premiums for many americans. well, abc news said that the kaiser family foundation report underlines that many of the promises surrounding president obama's health care legislation
10:36 am
remain unfulfilled, though the white house argues that change is coming. even "the new york times" on september 27 said the steep increase in rates is particularly unwelcome at a time when the economy is still sputtering. many businesses cite the high cost of coverage as a factor in their decision not to hire, and health insurance has become increasingly unaffordable for many americans. i've reported on this senate floor my conversations with the chief executive officers of restaurant chains around the country. together they are the second-largest employer in the country, after the government, and they employ a great many young people and low-income people, the kind of men and women who are looking for jobs today. and what they were telling me was that the mandate of the health care law will make it more difficult for them to hire people. and one specific example, one of the largest of the health care -- of the restaurant chains was saying that he operates his
10:37 am
store with 90 employees today, and because of the health care mandates, he will seek to operate his store with 70 employees a day. that's not a way to crates number of jobs. but there are other provisions in the health care law that cause premiums to go up, which was the point of the kaiser family foundation report and the point of my discussion with the president in february of 2010. the c.m.s. chief actuary had predicted this in 2010, saying that by 2014, still a couple of years away, three years away, growth in private health insurance premiums is expected to accelerate to 9.4%, 4.4% higher than in the absence of health reform. the president had said in his discussion with me that under the law that he proposed, the individual market would cost 40%
10:38 am
to 20% less. that was also in the congressional budget office letter. but those reductions were overwhelmed by other costs that were identified in the c.b.o. letter that would produce a 27% to 30% increase. so the net result, according to the preduckses of february 2010 by the congressional budget office, was that there would be an increase in individual premiums of 10% to 13%. now, these individual premiums, premiums that individuals buy, are not the largest share of insurance policies in america, but they affect probably 12 million to 15 million americans. so that's a lot of people who are having their insurance costs go up. a recently released 2011 health
10:39 am
insurance trend driver survey reports that for 2011, individual health care plans reported an estimated 4.7% increases due to the he new health care law. and then according to the september 8, 2010, "wall street journal" acialtion "health insurers say they plan to raise premiums for some employees complicating democrats' efforts to trumpet their signature achievement before the midterm elections." aetna, some blue cross blue shield plans, other smaller carriers have asked for premium increases of between 1% and 9% to pay for extra benefits required under the law enforcement" and in the same article it says that aetna said that extra benefits forced it to seek rate increases for individual plans of 5% to 7% in california and 5.5 to 6.8% in nevada. this was precisely the dishawtion i was having with the president in february 2010 when i said that under the health care law, because of the
10:40 am
mandates in the law, individual health care premiums' costs will go up. in wisconsin and north carolina, according to the same acialtion another insurance company says half of the 18% increase its seeking comes from complying with health care mandates. in a september 16 article last year in the hartford currant, connecticutcare is seeking an increase in its plans, they expect the federal health care reform law to increase rates by at much as 22.9% for a single provision. this happens for free dictable reasons, because of the requirements in the law for minimum credible coverage. in other words, you have to buy more expensive -- if you buy -- if you're required to buy a better kind of health insurance, if you're required to buy a cadillac insteacadillac insteadw
10:41 am
lakers it will cost more. another reason it will rise is because of the -- someone has to pay for those costs. and the ones who are going to pay for them are the people who buy health insurance. and then there's the question of what we call cost shift. when we add 25 million americans to medicaid, premiums will increase because the -- because the costs will shift to private insurerinsurers to help pay fore costs. that's according to the chief act wear of c.m.s., which is in this administration. and then finally, age rating. is going to cause insurance premiums to go up what. it basically says is that younger -- older americans won't have to pay as much, so younger americans are going to have to pay more. so, madam president, it's no surprise thawnders the new
10:42 am
health care law, health insurance premiums are going up, becoming an even bigger drag on employment and on family budgets. this was predicted by the congressional budget office while we were debating the congressional -- the health care law. it was predicted by republicans who offered an alternative to take steps to increase costs in health care instead of this big, comprehensive law that exspanneds the system that already costs too much. and it offers even more reasons why we should repeal or make significant changes in the health care law if we want to create an environment in which we can make it easier and cheaper to grow private-sector jobs and in which more americans can afford reasonably cost health insurance. i thank the president, and i yield the floor. mr. corker: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. corker: it is rare that i am down on the floor with the
10:43 am
senior senator from tennessee, but it is always a pressure and i certainly appreciate his great leadership and his comments on the chinese currency bill, which probably should be labeled "the china trade war bill" because i think that's where it would lead. but i'm here to speak on another topic. ings that today that senator bennet from colorado and myself are flowing a bill that mirrors what has been introduced in the house by representative cooper from tennessee and paul rye gran wisconsin. i have tremendous faith in the american people. when the american people are given facts and transparency, they make good decisions. they help us here in washington make good decisions when i think they have the information that they need. a lot of americans are very aware of some of the dilemmas we face in washington regarding medicarer but i don't think many americans are fully aware of the dilemma that we face. i think they're aware that the
10:44 am
trustees of medicare have said that -- have said that in the year 2024 medicare is going to become insolvent. but i don't think they are aware of the math. actually, i wasn't aware of the math until we began to look at how we solve the problem. the average american today, the average american family earns $43,500 today. the average american family over their lifetime pay into the medicare program, including the part that their employer pays on their behalf, $119,000 over their lifetime. in other words, the family pays in harvetion the employer pays in half. and in 2011 dollars, that means that if you paid in 30 years ago and that money was inflated to today's dlarks that family would have paidnd 119,000 over their lifetime. what most americans don't know is that over their lifetime the average family takes out of medicare $357,000.
10:45 am
so obviously the math doesn't work, and i think most americans don't fully realize that. until we ghoot this situation, aim not sure most people in the senate understood how off the math is, full. over the next decade, 20 million more americans are going to be on medicare, so this situation where the average family and their employer is paying in the $119,000 into the program and taking owl $357,000, that's going to be further exacerbated by the fact that over the next ten years, 20 million more americans are going to be on medicare and this athen on top of that we're going to have fewer people working per retiree than we've ever had in the history of this country. for that reason, today senator bennet and i are offering a bill that says that when americans receive their social security information which lays out how much they've paid in, they would also receive the information regarding medicare so that they
10:46 am
will know how much they're paying into the program and over time how much they've taken out. again, i think this type of transparency allows americans to fully understand how these programs work. and to me, what that will do is help all of us here in the united states senate and over in the house of representatives make better decisions. i think when americans are informed, they help us make better decisions. a lot of americans don't fully appreciate this, i think, sometimes, but congress really does reflect more fully than they think the will of the american people. and i think, again, transparency helps us here represent the american people in even a more full way. today we introduce this bill. i thank senator bennet from colorado for joining me in this effort. i thank representative cooper and ryan for their leadership in the house. and, madam president, it's my
10:47 am
hope that either through unanimous consent or early action soon that this bill will become law. i think as long as americans understand where things stand, americans help us here in congress make good and sound decisions. that's why i'm introducing this bill today with the help of senator bennet from colorado. with that, i yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. alexander: i want to congratulate senator corker for his usual good judgment and insight in helping us work on a difficult problem. no member of this body has done more in the last year to try to highlight the problem of the federal debt. his cap plan which has been a part of almost every discussion we had seriously about it, through his effort more recently to support efforts to try to
10:48 am
achieve $4 trillion in deficit reduction as a part of the select committee and his suggestion today that allowing americans to understand something that most of us really hadn't focused on, that during our lifetimes we're paying in $110,000, $120,000 to medicare and during our lifetimes we're taking out $330,000. americans understand that's a problem that has to be solved. i've been doing some research lately on our debt situation. fundamentally speaking, our problem lies with health care costs. it lies there with families. it lies there with businesses. and it lies there with the united states government. our discretionary spending, the kind we appropriate every year, everything from national parks to national defense to roads and bridges, that's about 39% of the budget. and if we stick to our guns on the agreement we made in early
10:49 am
august, that will only grow at a little less than the rate of inflation. but if we go over to the side of what we call mandatory spending which is 55% of our spending, it's going to go up at three times the rate of inflation. three times the rate of inflation. and the fastest-growing part of that mandatory spending is medicare and medicaid. so we need to save our medicare and medicaid systems so americans can rely on that. and i think senator corker shows respect for the voters of tennessee and for americans by assuming that if we understand the problem, that we'll support a serious effort to deal with a solution. and i compliment him for that leadership. mr. corker: madam president, while we're issuing compliments, i do want to say that all of us want to see that medicare is here for future generations. that's going to take some sound
10:50 am
judgment. i know we have a select committee that's working on hopefully the first steps to make that happen. i want to congratulate the senior senator from tennessee for this. i think more than anybody else recently he has pointed out that in this country as we leave mandatory spending on auto pilot and as we move to a place where candidly these programs are insolvent and not there for future generations, what we're doing is in many ways -- these are my words -- eating our seed corn. the fact is the senator from tennessee, our senior senator, knows full well what it takes to make a strong country. he sits on an appropriations committee. he understands that many of the basic sciences and other types of efforts that are underway at the federal government are the very things that will make our country stronger. yet, what we're doing in this country by leaving mandatory spending on auto pilot and the rate at which it's growing is
10:51 am
going to cause us to really eat into those things that make our country strong. i want to thank him for his leadership in that regard as governor of tennessee. he led our state in making it stronger by making the kind of priority investments that made us stronger. he alluded to that earlier with what he did by making sure that investments in our state created higher wages. and i think more than anybody else in this body, the senator understands that if we allow things to continue as they are, we're going to continue to invest less and less and less in those kind of things that make our country strong. things like infrastructure, that we all know needs to happen. and yet, because we haven't h-d the courage and the will to take on those mandatory programs, to reform them so that future generations will have them but also so that we can continue to make these investments in our
10:52 am
country that are so important. our country's greatness will dissipate. so i thank him for that. i thank him for his leadership in many ways. but i hope that he will continue to move ahead with informing people as to what's happening in this country, how that's hurting us, how it causes our greatness to dissipate as long as we don't take on these mandatory spending programs which, again, in my words, are causing us to eat our seed corn. the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. reed: madam president, i rise as a cosponsor in strong support is of the reform act.
10:53 am
this is protect u.s. taxpayers from harm from unfair currency manipulation. unemployment throughout my home state of rhode island and the nation has been persistently high and crow seufplt it is caused part by the effects of currency manipulation, particularly chinese devaluation of the yuan. this is one of the challenges that manufacturers and hard-working individuals in rhode island and across the nation face each and every day. the effects of unfair currency manipulation has resulted in distorted trade balances that have hurt u.s. workers and our nation's economy as a whole. confronting chinese currency manipulation sends a very strong signal. if implemented correctly it will create jobs and lead to an estimated 1.6 million american
10:54 am
jobs. free trade only works when it's fair. china is not playing by the rules, and u.s. workers are harmed as a result. china is by any measure keeping its currency artificially weak and engaging in trade practices that are harming the united states economy. by devaluing the yuan relative to the dollar, china is essentially subsidizing its exports and taxing u.s. imports at the expense of u.s. companies and workers. it has been estimated that the yuan has been undervalued relative to the dollar by 40%, spurring our $273 billion trade deficit with china. the economic policy institute has estimated that the trade deficit with china has cost the united states economy 2.8
10:55 am
million jobs, 1.9 million of these were manufacturing jocks. between 2001 and 2010, this period we saw this job loss, it resulted in rhode island in that period of approximately 12,000 jobs that were lost. a recent study by a team of three economists confirm what many in my state already now, that jobs in rhode island are among the most vulnerable to cheap chinese imports. job losses are directly attributable to the u.s. trade deficit with china, which has been exacerbated again by their persistent undervaluation of their currency. our trade deficit with china, which grew over ten years from $83 billion ten years ago to $273 billion has had an outside impact on my state because chinese goods compete directly with many products that were produced in rhode island and
10:56 am
continue to be produced in rhode island. from textiles to toys, rhode islanders have been harmed as the artificially cheap yuan and exports from china affected communities. if singapore, taiwan, asia and hong kong let their dollar float freely against the dollar, u.s. exports would increase 1.9%, creating up to 2.25 million jobs in the united states. again, some of our efforts should be focused today in growing our economy, measured not just by g.d.p., but more importantly, by jobs. and this is one of those measures that is consistent with growing jobs here in america and also respects the fact that in order for a trade to work in the world, the trade has to be fair
10:57 am
as well as free. that everyone has to follow the rules, that there's no exception. what we expect of our s*es, we should -- of ourselves we should demand of others. that is what is at the heart of this bill. currently private businesses in the united states are not able to compete on a level playing field with chinese manufacturers and exporters that have an unfair advantage because the chinese government is manipulating its currency. an undervalued yuan isn't even in the best interest of the chinese economy because it wastes resources, it erodes wages of chinese workers. the benefits of an undervalued yuan primarily flow to political phr*eutically powerful -- politically powerful china companies depending on trade many of which are state owned. according to chinese's economic census, chinese state enterprises control over 40% of the assets in the industrial sector. when countries stack the deck
10:58 am
for companies and industries that they control, it hurts businesses here in the united states. this is not free trade or fair trade. and those who hold up china's economic growth and favorable tax conditions like one fortune 500 company c.e.o. recently did should realize this. after all, china has little reason to tax corporations when so many of the country's largest corporations are state owned. we would not dare to suggest a form of ownership or government intervention in our economy that they use consistently and persistently as a major way to fund their government and fund their activities. so we have to, i think, recognize what is being posed here in the guise of their version of free trade. it is not fair trade. it is not free traeufpltd and
10:59 am
it -- free trade. and it does not even help the people of china. but it certainly, certainly helps the powerful forces of the chinese government and their favored business partners. so, we have a clear choice here, and we have legislation that will be effective because it is consistent with what we do: follow the rules. we're simply asking every nation to follow the rules when it comes to currency. the legislation before us today would level the playing field for businesses in rhode island and throughout the country. it requires the department of treasury to identify misaligned currencies using objective criteria and requires the administration to take action if countries fail to correct this misalignment. it assures our trade laws can address currency undervaluation when it harms workers and manufacturers by offsetting the exports received from the
11:00 am
country's current manipulation. the effects of unfair currency manipulation have caused far too much harm for far too long. it has resulted in distorted trade balances that have hurt u.s. workers and our nation's economy as a whole. this legislation will strengthen the tools we have to make sure our businesses can compete on a fair and level playing field against foreign companies that benefit from an undervalued currency. let me be clear that this is not a silver bullet for ow economy and there are many of us that we have to take. so as we continue to press for solutions to revitalizing our economy with a front and center focus on saving and creating jobs, addressing unfair subsidies and trade practices must be part of this effort. so i would urge swift passage of the currency exchange rate oversight reform act. with that, madam chairwoman, i would note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
11:01 am
quorum call:
11:02 am
11:03 am
mr. blumenthal: madam president, i ask that the quorum call be ended. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. blumenthal: madam president, i rise as a proud cosponsor of the currency exchange rate oversight reform act, s. 1619. we are all aware in this chamber and around the country that china has been manipulate pg its currency, flagrantly and
11:04 am
blatantly, at the expense of our businesses in connecticut and new york and around the country, and most blatantly and flagrantly at the expense of american workers. this measure is necessary to protect american jobs and american workers. chinese currency manipulation is a job killer, very simply, at a time when so many are desperate for work and so many americans and citizens of connecticut are seeking good jobs. this measure will help protect american workers and save american jobs, which is why i am proud to be a cosponsor of this measure. and i'll proud to have begun this fight -- and i'm proud to have begun this fight well before i became a united states senator and well before i even thought of become ago senator, when he was attorney general of the state of connecticut, because i heard from connecticut
11:05 am
businesses about the effects of chinese currency manipulation in their efforts to sell their goods and services, not only in china but around the world and even in america. undervaluing chinese currency puts american businesses at a disadvantage. it is a hidden export subsidy. it is a means of underpricing chinese goods and services at the expense of ours. and that affects not only our exports to china, it affects our sales of airplanes in europe, it affects the sales of all kinds of products, both high-tech and others, in this country, and it deprives the united states and its businesses of a level playing field. the extent of that
11:06 am
undervaluation is actually unknown, even as we speak here. it's probably in the range of 25%. economists will tell you it's anywhere between 20% and 50%. the chinese have permitted their currency to rise slowly, perhaps about 6% since june of 2010. but the undervaluation by 50% or more of that period of time in the years that led to june 2010 was relentless and tireless and successful. one of the great success stories of exrency undervaluation is -- of currency undervaluation is the chinese doing so with theirs. and so we are today at a point where lately we've lost patience. when i first asked the treasury of the united states to label
11:07 am
and conclude that china is a currency manipulator, months, even years ago, there was an opportunity to take the kind of action that this measure would readily lead it to do. and it must do it now. this bill provides consequences for countries that fail to adopt appropriate policies to eliminate currency misalignment and includes tools to address the impact of currency misalignment on american manufacturers. including the use of counterveiling duty law to impose tariffs on imports benefiting from government subsidies. very simply, it provides tools that the american government can and should use when there are
11:08 am
misalignments of currency that result from government policy, and it eliminates some of the barriers that now exist in our current law to the american government taking action to protect american businesses. it is a good measure, a commonsense step toward fairness a understand a level playing field for american businesses -- and a level flag field for american businesses, and it means that we would protect ourselves as we have a right to do in an ongoing trade war. and it is a war, not a shooting war, perhaps not explicit, but it is a trade war that we should acknowledge and recognize is a fact of life today for our businesses. all of this talk about currency and the abstract and seemingly arcane discussion in economic
11:09 am
terms may seem faraway to many citizens of connecticut, but it is not arcane or abstract to steve wilson at crescent manufacturing, a burlington company that makes precision fasteners, many of them used in defense of our country, sold in this country as well as abroad. crescent manufacturing has hardworking, skilled workers who compete with chinese manufacturers, whose production costs are dramatically lower because of the undervalued chinese currency. steve wilson came to me and said, in effect, give us a level playing field. and that is what this bill does. and he said it not only on his own behalf as a manager and an
11:10 am
owner but on behalf of his workers, because the number of those workers was reduced as a result of the lack of a level playing field. earlier this year i worked with my colleague in the house of representatives, congressman chris murphy, to conduct a survey of connecticut manufacturers. we gathered data from 151 different companies all across the state of connecticut, and the information they shared paints a dramatic picture of the business climate for companies in connecticut and america today, their challenges as they seek to create jobs and stay competitive. of 151 manufacturers who participated in our survey, 73% say they have chinese competition. 73% are competing with chinese
11:11 am
companies. and 57% -- almost 60% of all those companies -- said that china's refusal to operate on a level playing field is harming their businesses. the majority of those companies who responded to that survey of manufacturers in connecticut say they want a level playing field or they are harmed by unfair practices in china's undervaluing their currency. we all know -- we all know at this point that china deliberately manipulates its currency to boost its exports, and connecticut manufacturers know it better than anyone, and they've made clear, if we're serious about keeping american manufacturing competitive, if we want to make it in america, if we want "made in america" to mean what it should, and if we
11:12 am
want our economy to grow, we need to stand up to countries that rig the system in their favor, unfairly in their favor. the alliance for american manufacturing estimates that our surging trade deficit with china, largely caused by chinese currency manipulation, costs $2.8 million -- cost 2.8 million american jobs over the last decade, and that's 31,600 in connecticut alone jobs lost to workers unfairly. on march 25, 2011, the i.m.f. declared that chinese -- china's currency remains, understand i'm quoting, "substantially undervalued." that's a serious charge. from an international agency that is not biased toward one country or another and it implies that china, in failing
11:13 am
to address the undervaluation of their currency, is in direct violation of the general agreement on tariffs and trade. which it has signed. far from being contradictory to international law, this bill serves the interests and intent of the general agreement on tariffs and trade. it serves article 21 of the gatt uruguay round and allows a member of the world trade organization -- and america is one -- to take action that it considers necessary for the protection of essential security interests. nothing is more essential to our security than jobs. nothing is more critical than dealing with our trade deficit. nothing is more important than
11:14 am
stopping the undervaluation of the chinese currency that consistently and unfairly, unacceptably works against our exports. we must fight these fundamentally unfair trade practices of china. american manufacturers deserve this level playing field, and this bill will help to assure it for them. i will continue to fight to protect connecticut manufacturers and businesses against any unfair trade practices anywhere in the world, and this bill stops china and any other country that would misalign its currency to the detriment of our security as a country and connecticut's manufacturers and businesses as well as those of the country as a whole. i thank the chamber, and i yield the floor and note the absence
11:15 am
of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: quorum call:
11:16 am
11:17 am
a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from north carolina. mrs. hagan: i have six unanimous consent requests for committees to meet -- the presiding officer: the senate is in a quorum call. mrs. hagan: i ask the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. hagan: thank you.
11:18 am
i have six unanimous consent requests for committees to meet during today's session of the senate. they have the approval of the majority and minority leaders. i ask unanimous consent these requests be agreed to and these requests be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. hagan: i've come to the floor today proud to be a cosponsor of the currency exchange rate oversight act, legislation that will send a clear and direct message to china that the time for playing games with american jobs is over. as many of my colleagues have already explained here on the floor, the effects of china's currency manipulation are damaging to our economy. it is estimate that had china is undervaluing their yuan by more than 28%. what does that mean? it means that chinese goods coming in to the united states are unfairly cheap while goods made here in the u.s. are unfairly expensive when they are exported to china. in other words, it means that
11:19 am
u.s. goods are less competitive in china, and chinese goods do have an unfair advantage in the united states. madam president, the results of this distorted arrangement are harrowing. reduced american wages. decreased g.d.p. and lost american jobs. since china entered the world trade organization in 2001, our trade deficit with them has gone from $84 billion in 2001 to $273 billion in 2010, an increase of close to $200 billion. madam president, $273 billion is larger than the u.s. trade deficit with the opec countries, the e.u. countries, canada, japan, and mexico combined. this trade deficit has eliminated or displaced over 2.8 million american jobs over the last ten years.
11:20 am
that's an average of 310,000 jobs every year. and 70% of those jobs lost from our trade with china were in one sector: manufacturing. madam president, ask anyone in my home state and they'll tell you the same they think. north carolina is a manufacturing state. from furniture to yarn, we are known throughout the country and throughout the world for the quality of the work we produce. but we are hurting. between 2001 and 2010, north carolina has lost over 107,000 jobs. that's 107,000 jobs due to trade with china. only five states in the entire country have suffered a greater net job loss from our country's trade with china. across the country the nation has lost approximately 6 million manufacturing jobs and seen 57,000 manufacturing plants across our country shut down.
11:21 am
last week i traveled throughout the foothill regions in north carolina, in burke, rugterford -- ruther ford and gaston counties, with some of the deepest manufacturing roots in the state. jobless rate close to 13% in burke, close to 15% in ruther ford. even higher than the 10.4% average across the state of north. the number one, number two and the number three concern that i heard at every stop i made last week was jobs, jobs, jobs. there were people, many of them former manufacturing employees who have lost their jobs. many of them are continuing to work hard, fighting for small sl businesses that they now run or looking for survival. and at the same time so many people are attending every job
11:22 am
fair they can make. they cannot afford for washington to continue to allow china to get away with economic deceit and manipulation. they cannot afford for us to continue competing with china with one hand tied behind our back. what they need is for washington to draw a hard line, to act now, and to get tough on china's currency manipulation. the currency exchange rate oversight act is straightforward. if the treasury department using objective criteria determines the value of a currency is fundamentally misaligned it will trigger a process to correct that unfair misalignment. in other words, it allows the united states to use every tool in our toolbox, including countervailing duties, to ensure that american workers and companies are competing on a level playing field. madam president, even though the
11:23 am
legislation is simple, its positive effects would ripple through the economy. the presiding officer: the senator's time has expired. mrs. hagan: madam president, i ask for two more minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. hagan: a full evaluation of the yuan would mean 2.25 million jobs in the u.s., reducing the unemployment rate by at least one full percentage point. an increase of the u.s. g.d.p. by about $285 million and nearly 2% boost and a reduction to our budget deficit by as much as $857 billion over ten years. this is new jobs, more growth and lower deficits. that's exactly the kind of bill our country needs right now. but it's going to require us to be tough. that's why america's workers and north carolina workers need us to draw this line in the sand. they have always been told that if you work hard and play by the rules, you can get ahead. but now china is not playing by the rules and it's undermining
11:24 am
the ability of our workers and companies to succeed. we need to hold them accountable. american and north carolina workers are some of the best and most productive in the world. we know this. china knows this. and if we compete on a level playing field, we can prosper together. i encourage all of my colleagues to join in this bipartisan measure and vote for this bill. it's what america's workers and companies need and it is what they deserve. thank you, madam president. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order the senate will resume consideration of s. 1619 which the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 183, s. 1619, a bill to provide for identification of misaligned currency, require action to correct the misalignment, and for other purposes. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. mr. cardin: i rise to urge my colleagues to support the currency exchange rate oversight reform act, s. 1619, which i'm
11:25 am
proud to be an original cosponsor. i want to thank my colleague and friend, senator brown, the senator from ohio, for his leadership in bringing forward this very, very important legislation. this legislation is about jobs. we all talk about ways that we can increase job opportunity in america, and, yes, we've got to do a better job in our infrastructure and rebuilding america, our roads, bridges, schools, our energy infrastructure, our water infrastructure. that's a very important part of job growth in america. we've got to help our small businesses. the president is right to focus a program that will help small businesses, because that's the job growth energy in america. but another area that's critically important to us is trade. i represent the state of maryland. the port of baltimore is an economic engine of our state where we employ many people because of the port of baltimore. we want to see products that not only come in to america, but we want to see products that leave
11:26 am
america for international marketplace. american manufacturers, producers and farmers can now compete their competition anywhere in the world as long as we have a level playing field. if we have a level playing field, we'll not only keep jobs in america, we will create new jobs in america. because we can outcompete the world. but we can't do it if we give away a huge advantage to other countries. and currency manipulation allows other countries to have unfair competitive advantage over american manufacturers, producers and farmers. and that's what this bill is aimed at, to give us a level playing field, to allow us to be able to compete fairly. i also want to acknowledge that this legislation is bipartisan. i think it's nonpartisan. this is legislation that makes sense for our country to keep jobs and create jobs in america. the legislation provides necessary mechanisms to help
11:27 am
halt currency manipulation committed by any country. currency manipulation is an unfair trade practice that reduces the price of imported goods while raising the price of american goods. madam president, we're talking about giving a discount to our competitors. how do you expect an american manufacturer to be able to compete with an imported product if they get a discount on the price? that's what happens when you arbitrarily undervalue your currency as a foreign competitor. and that is what's happening in america, to american manufacturers. trying to end this is just common sense and will finally allow to us address our net exports, helping reduce trade imbalances, and most importantly, create jobs here in america. now, of course, china is one of the largest abusers of this type of manipulation. despite a pledge from china in
11:28 am
2001 to adhere to open and fair trade, it continues to violate global trade rules which in turn has eroded u.s. manufacturing base and economy. one of these market-distorting practices in china's efforts to keep its currency severely undervalued. unlike other currencies, the chinese yuan does not fluctuate freely against the dollar. bringing the chinese yuan to its equilibrium level, and that's a 28.5% appreciation, is essential to creating much-needed jobs in this country as well as fair and global marketplace. let me just repeat this. because of what china does on pegging its currency to ours, not allowing it to freely fluctuate, chinese products in effect get a 28.5% discount.
11:29 am
now if you're manufacturing a product and trying to compete with an imported chinese product, how can you do that if your competitor gets a 28.5% discount? that's what's happening in america today. this legislation would allow those who are being harmed by this unfair trade practice to be able to bring a trade remedy against that unfairly imported product. inexpensive chinese imports have caused a great deal of harm to the united states manufacturing sector. news studies show that 2.8 million american jobs, including 1.9 million manufacturing jobs, were lost or displaced over the past decade due to the growing u.s. trade deficit with china fueled in part by currency manipulation. so we've documented millions of jobs that we've lost, that's
11:30 am
been lost because we've allowed without challenging china to give discounts to its manufacturers, bringing products into america. if it was a level playing field, american manufacturers can compete. but they can't compete with such an unfair trading practice. many u.s. industries have been hard hit by unfair trade practices and currency manipulation, impeding their ability to compete here and abroad.the alliance for american manufacturing says that addressing this currency manipulation would lead to the creation of up to 2.25 million american jobs, an increase in the u.s. gross domestic product of $228.7 billion, 1.9%, or $190 billion reduction in our annual trade deficit. and finally, an annual deficit reduction of $71 billion or
11:31 am
between $600 billion to $800 billion over the next ten years, if sustained. no wonder this is bipartisan. no withinder thi -- no wonder ts is nonpartisan. here we have standing up for american manufacturers, allowing them to be ton a level playing field, we cannot only reduce the trade balance, we can also reduce the budget imbalance. all that have can be done if we can establish a level playing field, give our manufacturers, produce,and farmers the opportunity to challenge this unfair practice. that's what this legislation does. with figures like this, this bill is seemingly a noncost, bipartisan, long-term job measure. this would not only spur economic growth, but economic stability that would ensure a better, more secure future for u.s. manufacturers, workers, and communities. this is really, i think, to keep
11:32 am
jobs here in america but also gives the opportunity of creating more jobs, helping our economy grow. simply put this legislation will allow u.s. manufacturers the ability to use existing counterveiling duty laws to obtain relief from injury from imported goods which benefit from currency manipulation, also allowing a new framework by which to identify misaligned currencies. this september 2010, the house adpopt add similar measure with overwhelming bment support. passage here in the senate will lead to real consequences for countries that abuse currency manipulation and empower the united states to create more of a level economic playing field. madam president, we can get this done. this is something that can get done. the house has already passed it. we have bipartisan support in the senate. we have the votes to pass it. i just urge my colleagues, let
11:33 am
us get this done! don't try to put other amendments on here that all it's going to do is make it difficult for us to achieve something that's great for our economy. and great for american production. let's just get this matter up for a vote and not try to do all these nonrelated amendments. i really do applaud my colleague dish know senator brown from ohio is on the floor, and i mentioned earlier i want to thank you for your leadership not only in bringing this bill forward but keeping the bipartisan group together so that we can show that we can get this done. now we need the members of the senate to say, look, it's time for us to vote on this bill. let's get it done. let's send it to the president so the president can sign it. let's do something that cannot only create jobs but help us deal with our trade imbalance and deal with our budget imbalance. and with that, madam president, i would yield the floor.
11:34 am
the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: madam president, i appreciate the words of senator cardin. senator cardin sits on the finance committee and was a long time member of the house ways and means committee and understands these issue issues l as and better than almost any member of the senate. i appreciate his work and leadership. he said a couple of things i want to emphasize. he sthaid first of all this is the biggest bipartisan jobs bill that we have considered this year, 79 votes out of 98 when it advanced forward -- advanced and was being considered on the senate floor. but he's talked about this is a discount we give to our competitors. imagine two gas stations in schenectady, new york, or in frederick, maryland, or akron, ohio. one gets its oil 25%, 35% less -- pays 25%-35% less for its gasoline than does the station across the street. the station that doesn't get the 20%, 25%, or 35% subsidy goes
11:35 am
out of business in a matter of days. that's the kind of unfair competition because we've given this discount to our competitors. the second is, senator cardin mentioned what this does with our budget deficit. it is pretty clear that this is not a jobs bill that costs a lot of money. it is why it got 79 votes. that's why so many republicans joined all but three democrats. if three people going tif 1,000k that's 1,000 people that don't have to receive food stamps. so when you look at the lost jobs because of this trade policy, because china has gamed the currency system for so many years and administrations of both parties have failed to enforce laws or use the tools they have in addition to this extra tool, this very
11:36 am
compelling, very effective poole tool we're giving them, it -- this very effective tool we're giving them it clearly has meant that we've been behind the 8-ball when we have not enforced these trade laws. when you look at the number of jobs lost, the number of jobs estimated to be gained is in the millions over time. this is exactly what the senate should be doing this week, moving this bill to the house. there are 250 cosponsors in the house, 60 republicans, 190 democrats. in the house among rank and file members there's huge spowmplet so we're hopeful after we pass the bill, that it moves to the house and can be quickly approved there. madam president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
11:37 am
11:38 am
11:39 am
11:40 am
11:41 am
11:42 am
11:43 am
11:44 am
11:45 am
11:46 am
11:47 am
11:48 am
11:49 am
11:50 am
11:51 am
11:52 am
11:53 am
11:54 am
11:55 am
11:56 am
11:57 am
11:58 am
11:59 am


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on